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Nice Costume

This week's challenge from Flash Fiction Friday is to finish a story. The site says:

This week’s prompt comes from one of my old (not in age) sociology professors, Sophie Aubert (yes, she made a cameo appearance in one of my stories earlier this year).  Professor Aubert was lecturing on degrees of truth and perceptions; how our ‘sphere’ influenced those perceptions.

You think that…the only truth that matters is that which can be measured.  That isn’t always the case…some truths can’t be quantified…they just are and we have to accept that.

I want to tell you a little story, something that happened to me a few years ago.

My partner and I were going to a Halloween party at a friend’s place outside of Paris; an old asylum that she had purchased for a song and spent the last several years renovating.

Dusk had fallen, casting long shadows across the narrow forest road, as we made our way to the villa.  Suddenly, a dark shape darted out from the dusk-drawn woods and into the middle of the road, where it stopped–frozen in the glare of the headlights.  Claudette jammed the brakes and the old Citroen slid to a stop only a few feet away from the…

Okay.  That’s enough, I think.  Now, you get to finish the story.

What did Sophie and Claudette see?  What was it that had stopped in the middle of the road?  Was it human or beast?  Was it real or only a ghostly apparition?

And, to make it interesting, let’s throw in a handful of words, shall we?

Prompt:  What ran out of the woods on that dark Halloween night?  What happened after the car stopped?  Did the ‘creature’ run off?  Did Sophie and Claudette get out of the car?  Go ahead and put yourself in the story if you want.  See if you can scare me!

Word List:  Murder, bedchamber, rack, clock, wine, time

Genre:  Open

Word Count:  1,031.  That’s right, barely over a thousand words, so make ‘em count!


Here's my story - at 860 words. For more stories, click here.


Nice Costume

You think that…the only truth that matters is that which can be measured.  That isn’t always the case…some truths can’t be quantified…they just are and we have to accept that.

I want to tell you a little story, something that happened to me a few years ago.

My partner and I were going to a Halloween party at a friend’s place outside of Paris; an old asylum that she had purchased for a song and spent the last several years renovating. 

Dusk had fallen, casting long shadows across the narrow forest road, as we made our way to the villa.  Suddenly, a dark shape darted out from the dusk-drawn woods and into the middle of the road, where it stopped–frozen in the glare of the headlights.  Claudette jammed the brakes and the old Citroen slid to a stop only a few feet away from the creature. It definitely looked female. She was very tall, scantily clad, with long legs, thick black hair, luscious red lips, and massive breasts that seemed to defy gravity.

"Nice rack," said Claudette.

I jabbed her arm, "Mine aren't enough for you?"

"It's OK hun," she said, "yours are perfect. Besides, I'm not really into scaly."

I looked again, the woman creature did in fact have scaly looking skin on her arms, and seemed to have a red glint in her eyes that matched her lips. As I stared, she locked eyes with me, and smiled, showing off some very white and very pointed teeth. She nodded, then disappeared  back into some trees next to the gate.

"That was weird,” I said. “Good costume though. I can't wait to see the others.”

“Whatever,” said Claudette. “Let's get going before this storm hits.”

Arianne had invited us to her first party at her new place - a Halloween party, appropriately enough. She'd paid very little for the villa, not only because of it's former use, but also for the many rumours surrounding it. When the site was finally closed they'd found evidence of horrific torture and abuse, including human sized cages in the lab, and blood stained operating rooms. They'd searched the heavily wooded grounds, but could find no survivors. It had sat on the market for a year, price dropping almost monthly, until our friend came across it. Arianne liked bizarre, she's picked the theme for her party to be Inmates and Hallucinations, which left it pretty open ended. Claudette was going as a blood soaked victim of a deranged ax murderer, I was going as her killer. 

"Come in, out of the rain," said Arianne. “A storm like this will likely close the road – happened last time.”

Looked like we'd arrived just as the storm broke, with thunder, lightening, and a torrential downpour. Our hostess was dressed as Napoleon, with leather boots, tights, short jacket, sash, and a two cornered hat. Braless too, and apparently using the traditional Napoleon hand-in-jacket pose for some fondling.

"You're just in time,” she said, “it's happy hour. Have a glass of wine before you pop upstairs to get changed.”

“We liked your gatekeeper,” said Claudette. “Suitably scary. Nice touch.”

“Gatekeeper?” said Arianne. “What do you mean? Everyone is here already – you're the last.”

“Maybe someone snuck out to scare us,” said Claudette. “We'll find her later when we're all decked out. So, where's that wine?”

We mingled and sipped with the others – nice enough people, all friends of Arianne. None looked like they might have been disguised as our greeter - not without some makeup from a movie set.

I was into my third glass when Arianne checked the large institutional wall clock and tapped her glass for attention.

“OK folks, time to head upstairs and dress for dinner – as in dress in your costumes. We may lose the lights in this storm, but I've put out matches and candles for you.”

She'd set up some of the original rooms for guests, cleaned up but still the original cells with windows barred, furniture bolted down and heavy doors carefully propped open.  Not very fancy bedchambers, but most of the weekend would be spent downstairs anyway, partying. I lit the candles just in case, then just as I was unpacking, the lights flickered and faded. There was enough light to slip into my simple costume, as it was nothing more than shorts and a t-shirt, carefully torn and dabbed with fake blood. I added some dark eyeshadow to emphasize my eyes, blood red lip gloss, and teased my hair into a psychotic mess. Just as I picked up my ax Claudette appeared at my door, gasping, clutching her throat, her arm, her skimpy blouse, everything covered in blood.

“Wow, that was fast,” I said. “Looks great. Amazing makeup job, straight out of a B movie. Here, let me adjust that fake eye.”

As I stepped forward, the eye slid down her face, exposing an empty socket. Claudette reached out, her life gurgling from her throat, and fell against me. I screamed and tried to grab her, but her blood drenched body slid to the floor.

“Claudette! What happened? Oh my God! Help!”

Her face was deathly pale, and the blood had already stopped flowing from her throat. She gasped one last breath. I had to get help. I reached for the door just as it started to slowly close. I stuck my fake ax into the opening, only to see a scaly arm reach down and pluck it out of the way. The door slammed shut with a dull thud, then the bolt clicked. A face appeared in the small window, a face framed in black hair, with ruby lips, red eyes, and a faint smile.

 

 

 

Comments

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Joyce Juzwik

Perhaps there should have been a closer headcount taken of the previous inmates! This brings double chills. The 'vision' from the road has come home. Has it already taken down all the other guests? The locked-in thing is what adds the extra terror for me. Having a killer, or a 'thing' chase you in the night is one thing and scary enough. But to have 'it' lock you in somewhere? Great story!

Lewis Peters

I'm thinking "Hammer House of Horror" - now those WERE classic hide-behind-the-sofa-Brit hooror movies. Your piece was very similar in effect and actually made me feel a llittle nostalgic.

Heartoftherose

Very creepy and far too short! I wonder what the woman has in mind for Sophie?

VeronicaThePajamaThief

I'm with 'heartoftherose... 'creepy and far too short!"

This is a great take on the prompt... I really like what you did with Sophie and Claudette... most imaginative and engrossing.

A very well written 'send-up' on those teen slasher pics.

Nicely done!

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